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Learn Framing From The Half Guard King Tom DeBlass!
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Learn Framing From The Half Guard King Tom DeBlass!

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Half Guard Frame - How To Prevent The Guard Pass by Tom DeBlass

Who is Tom DeBlass? Tom DeBlass is many things. He is one of the most sought after instructors in the grappling world right now.  He is a world class grappler and former mixed martial artist. He is an exceptional instructor. He has a huge social media following from his technique breakdowns and advice on relationships, transformation, adversity and training.  Tom DeBlass is many things and world class in all of them.

Tom has many accomplishments in grappling and mixed martial arts. He has fought in both the UFC and Bellator. He is a 3x ADCC veteran, Fight To Win Pro Main Event Winner, 2016 ADCC North American Champion,2016 ADCC American Nationals Absolute Champion, ADCC NY Super Fight Champion,2015 Black Belt World No Gi Masters and Absolute Champion, 2014 ADCC North American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Pan American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2009 ADCC North American Champion, 2009 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2007 Brown Belt No Gi Worlds Champion, 2007 Brown Belt Pan American Champion, 2007 Brown Belt American Nationals Champion, 6X Grappler’s Quest Expert Champion and member of the New Jersey Martial Artist Hall of Fame.

DeBlass’ education and teaching ability is also exceptional. Tom earned his black belt from legendary ADCC and MMA veteran Ricardo Almeida in just over six years. There are many testaments to his exceptional teaching ability. His first black belt is the great Garry Tonon. Gordon Ryan is Tonon’s first black belt. Tom is a former elementary school special education teacher. This experience has honed his ability to take complex concepts and make them understandable to even the novice grapplers. Another testament to his teaching ability is his academy Ocean County Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has over 350 students and 20 black belts. Additionally he has an empire of affiliates around the world.

It is also worth noting the Tao of Tom’s social media presence. He has many great quotes from training to adversity, transformation and life.  Here is a great quote from Tom on transformation, “The last 4 weeks I have dedicated to changing myself. Every day I have been praying, asking God to help me in the areas of life where I struggle. Regardless how successful you may think you are, there is always so much room for improvement, always. I am nowhere close to where I want to be, but every day I am getting better. It is a conscious effort that I must put in, but I feel myself becoming a better person.”

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In this video Tom explores how to effectively frame in half guard. One of the nice things as noted by Bernardo Faria in this video is that being athletic is not a requirement for effective framing. Tom is able to control distance while being relaxed without leveraging athletic prowess. Tom starts the conversation by exploring the fundamental principle in grappling over space. The offensive player is always looking to take away space. The defensive player is always looking to crate space. One example of this is being chest to chest in half guard. If this much space is taken away from the defensive player it limits his options. Tom starts with a knee shield. He states that the correct alignment is to have your knee point to your opponent’s far side shoulder. Note, how Tom talks about having the knee shield in place is characteristic of a defensive action. Once the knee shield is removed then offensive action can commence. Once the knee shield is removed he often looks for the under hook. Tom states that it is a mistake to have both the knee shield and under hook in place. DeBlass also likes to frame his arm under his opponent's chin. If necessary he can create additional structure by grabbing the wrist of the framing arm. Tom states that even without the knee shield the framing arm should be enough to maintain distance from his opponents.  He also likes to keep his elbow on this inside. One reason for this is it makes it more difficult for his opponent to gain an under hook. Tom removes the knee shield and swims the far side arm across his body. From here his opponent will seek to smash him down. Tom swims his arm across the space to secure the under hook. Using the under hook he is able to bring his opponent’s head and hips above his body.  From here Tom has the option to either play deep half guard or take his opponent’s back.

This video is a fine example of Tom’s ability to breakdown technique and principles in a manner that is applicable to everyone from the white belt to black belt. Without a doubt, we can all refine our game with the information provided. Tom DeBlass is certainly many things. Beyond Jiu Jitsu technique, he sets an example on how to run an academy and our mindset for training, transformation, adversity and life in general. The Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have people like Tom DeBlass.

Learning to fight from half guard will not only help prevent your guard from getting passed. It will also give you a strong attacking guard. Tom DeBlass' DVD / On Demand Series Half Domination will give you the tips and skills to control and win from the most dynamic position in grappling.

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